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Word Up


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Audio CD, July 22, 2002
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Editorial Reviews

Cameo, unlike many funk bands that emerged in the late '70s, really thrived in the 1980s. Lead singer/producer Larry Blackmon insisted on changing with the times, and he did so by making Cameo more high-tech. An outlandish, in-your-face stage presence, a strange sense of humor, and a hard-driving funk sound that criss-crossed a few musical boundaries earned Cameo countless comparisons to Parliament/Funkadelic in their early days. However, Cameo eventually wore off accusations of being derivative by transcending their influences and outlasting almost every single one of them. Throughout the '70s and '80s, the group remained up with the times and occasionally crept ahead of them, such that they became influences themselves upon younger generations of R&B and hip-hop acts. Includes the single's 'Word Up' and 'Candy'. Universal.

Listen to Samples and Buy MP3s

Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         

Samples
Song Title Time Price
listen  1. Word Up 4:21$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  2. Candy 5:39$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Back And Forth 6:33$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  4. Don't Be Lonely 5:19$1.29  Buy MP3 
listen  5. She's Mine 4:37$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  6. Fast, Fierce & Funny 4:09$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  7. You Can Have The World 4:38$0.99  Buy MP3 

Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 22, 2002)
  • Original Release Date: 1988
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: PolyGram / Mercury
  • ASIN: B000001FKH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #57,439 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Music

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Biography

"All you sucker DJs who think you're fly/There's got to be reason and we know the reason why/You try to put on airs and act real cool/But you've got to realize that you're acting like fools."

--Cameo, "Word Up"

Cameo tore the roof off pop funk--and the pop hip-hop scene that followed has paid its tributes, from Will Smith's Big Willie Style ... Read more in Amazon's Cameo Store

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
5 star
86%
4 star
11%
3 star
4%
2 star
0%
1 star
0%
See all 28 customer reviews
I enjoyed listening to Cameo, a favorite old school jam.
Katreena
Back and Forth is just as good as they smooth it out a bit, yet keep it funky.
Preston
If you have proper CD audio enhancing software, you can do the same thing.
Seand67

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Daniel Jolley HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on June 5, 2003
Format: Audio CD
1986 was quite a year. I was busy perfecting an advanced level of high school nerdiness that future generations would never be able to equal, and Cameo was releasing what was, to me, the coolest song I had ever heard in my life. Word Up was huge; not since the heyday of Fonzie had I encountered such a concentration of coolness in anything. Everybody loved this song, everybody played this song, and everybody inevitably introduced the word Owwwww into his/her vocabulary. Then the song Candy was released, another great song that increased the shelf life of Larry Blackmon's trademark Owwwww for several more months. The way I saw it, you couldn't even pretend to be cool without owning this album. At first glance, you look and see only seven songs and wonder what the deal is here, but let me rationalize this seeming weakness of the CD by explaining that the album is 35 minutes long, with two songs over five minutes long and one spanning an excess of six minutes; thus, while it's still a relatively short album, it is not "too short" by any means (especially for its time). While none of the other tracks comes close to equaling the power of Word Up, this is still a great album all the way around. The only thing I knew about funk at this time was that Rick James' Superfreak was the funkiest funk around. I knew nothing about Cameo's emergence in the late 70s and their successful adaptation to the musical changes of the 80s, not only surviving where other funk bands fell by the wayside but prospering like nobody's business. I guess this can be called hip-hop music; all I know is that this was bold, cutting edge stuff to my young little mind. Now, I can appreciate this album in altogether new ways, and I must say it's still all kinds of cool.Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Scot Merideth Peirson on August 10, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Cameo--as a group and in terms of ideas--really hit it's best period in terms of popularity and creativity from late 1983 to early 1987 with it's three albums in that period. "She's Strange", "Single Life" and "Word Up" had the group pared down from it's Earth, Wind, and Fire-sized band of the late 1970s to the Larry Blackmon/Tomi Jenkins/Nathan Leftenant core that carried these albums. "Word Up" is, in many ways, Blackmon's Magnum Opus--"Strange" was very good, "Single Life" was brilliant (Besides, can we ever forget the video for the title track--with Blackmon in the wedding dress?), but "Word Up"--the catchprase in the New York clubs in the mid-80s-- had those quirky lyrics that Blackmon created mixed with those stone dead funky beats and the hard-rock guitar...and, of course, the Morricone whistle in the title track and "Back And Forth". Plus the video for "Word Up"--remember LeVar Burton as the cop trying to catch Blackmon? Plus, I think this was the first video in which Larry wore the infamous fire-red codpiece...

Which leads me to saying something that many will consider sacrilege. The best track on this album ISN'T the title track (Allow me a second to duck), it's "Back And Forth". Why? First of all, it's just a great beat--many Old Schoolers think this was easier to do the Electric Slide to than "Word Up" (Cabbage Patch, y'all!!!). The vocal arrangement, especially in the chorus with Leftenant echoing Blackmon ("Back {back} and forth (and forth)..."). Plus, that absolutely stunning guitar bridge (Boy, if ANY song on the album should have been done full-length in video...).
Read more ›
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Andre' S Grindle on September 8, 2004
Format: Audio CD
What a chant!The title track aside the first three songs

on this album-the title song,"Candy" and "Back And Forth" all

blend into a sublimely funky frenzy."Fast,Fierce And Funny" and

"You Can Have The World" all charge ahead in the same maddening

way-all hyperspace synths and vocal wailing!'Word Up!' is one of

the few albums hanging by the old clishe of 'classic' that,in it's own genre,really deserves it!Not even the ballads will

dissappoint you!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By herr_chagall on February 15, 2002
Format: Audio CD
note: too bad i lost the password to my old account below, lol ... some copy & paste is in order therefore, yes? ;)
wow ... i remember hearing the title track on afn in frankfurt/main, germany some 14 years ago as if it was yesterday. after that aural experience during my adolescent phase, nothing remained the same: i went to the nearest department store and bought cameo's single, although i didn't even have a record player at that time. i was hooked (and i still am).
if it hadn't been for cameo, i'd probably still be one of those unfocused consumers that lack the appreciation for genuine artistic achievements. luckily for me, i've come to discover all the funk, soul and jazz gems that are worth checking out.
now, after this "general introduction", on to the actual review: the production is tight and on point. from the very first moment it becomes evident that mastermind blackmon and his mates can't go wrong with this one -- it's a midas thing: everything they touch turns into funk. the horn arrangements in particular (something i always gave them big respect for) are perfect and the lyrics are also decent and entertaining.
word up!: out of this world. this is a killer track, and even the worst cover version couldn't spoil it (as is the case with most terrific songs).
candy: indeed, sweet. melts in your ear, not in your stereo system.
back & forth: on the move -- shake your money-maker. the beat is extremely heavy and makes this song a winner. sure shot.
don't be lonely: now, this is a top-notch ballad delivered with *soul*. i feel it.
she's mine: hilarious and groovy. spice up your party with this cut.
fast, fierce & funny: it's all about the dough. nice inserts mocking the stock marketeers.
you can have the world: an appropriate closing track. in 1986, the world was theirs, with only prince's "parade/under the cherry moon" matching them.
hope i didn't bore y'all too much but this review i just *had* to write.
cheers.
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